(This article was originally posts on FLIPP.ca in 2015. I am posting a series of my past work to archive and share it.)
OK, well that headline is a bold statement but we have it on good authority there is a counter-intuitive secret that leads to success. And that secret is failure.
We heard it from the aptly named Dr. Astro Teller, head of Google’s bleeding edge development wing, Google X. Google X is responsible for Google Glass ( a famous “failure”), Google self-driving cars, Project Wing – which is pursuing self-flying delivery drones and Project Loon, defined as “a balloon powered internet for everyone” and best described here. The gist of his talk at SXSW 2015 has value for anyone, and especially marketers. “If you want to make a ton of progress you have to be willing to make a ton of mistakes.” This does not mean taking on risk without purpose. The key is to fail with intent, analyze the results and avoid making the same mistake over and over again.
As advertisers that are aspiring to be more innovative and successful everyday, the team at FLIPP can embrace the “Fail to Succeed” philosophy. The beautiful thing is that for most marketers you don’t have to send a satellite into orbit to test a theory (and if you do we’d like to hear about it). There are lower risk avenues in which to test new ideas and judge their effectiveness before going “all in”. Why not test new creative via Facebook ads? AB test on landing pages? Deliberately analysis the failures you’ve already had and see what you can learn from them?
So there you have it – the not so secret, secret that will help you reach a new level of success. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Consider them essential to succeeding. When you and your team sit down to de-brief a project or begin thinking about a new one, try to focus on the 5 things you could improve on rather than the 5 things you do right. We know we will.